Country: Netherlands / Germany
Movie Review: The fifth feature film from Dutch helmer Nanouk Leopold is a resentful and quiet drama inspired by Gerbrand Bakker’s debut novel “The Twin”, depicting homosexual repression and rural isolation. Helmer (Jeroen Willems) is a 55 year-old solitary farmer who, not with signs of impatience, waits for his father’s death. Visibly embittered, Helmer is stuck into a life he didn’t choose, having to take care of his bedridden and demanding father, and do all the work in the dairy farm by himself. He feels attracted to a milk trader of his own age but always resists to his approaching attempts. When his father gets worse he moves him upstairs, so he can rent the available room to a young farmer, Henk, whose presence will try to break the ice of Helmer’s self-denied homosexuality. The main character presents a bitter coldness and carries so much frustration that is almost impossible to feel any sympathy for him. A little wickedness is particularly visible when he refuses to call a doctor for his father, or tries to avoid the visit of a friendly neighbor, Ada (the unique feminine presence), or seems reluctant in turning on the heating for the room upstairs. Vague insinuations are suggested about their difficult past relationship but “It’s All So Quiet” becomes as painful to watch as the lives of the ones it depicts. Its immutable sad tone characterized by a slow pace and absence of any kind of thrill won’t be for everyone’s appreciation, only increasing the lack of human warmness. It’s indeed an interesting story, yet very arduous to endure.